Koenigsegg Automotive AB [ˈkəːnɪgsɛg] is a Swedish manufacturer of high-performance cars (supercars) based initially in Olofström, later moving to Margretetorp, just outside Ängelholm.
The company was founded in 1993 by Christian von Koenigsegg, with the intention of producing a world-class supercar. Based on Formula One technology, the car was required to be a two-seater, midengine layout with a hardtop. The initial design was drawn by Christian von Koenigsegg. Then he went with his sketches to Industrial Designer David Crafoord in order for him to realize the sketches into a scale 1:5 model. David then laid his personal touch to the design brief and finished the model. This model was later scaled up by Sven-Harry Åkesson in order to create the base plug for the initial Koenigsegg prototype that was finished in 1996. During the next years the prototype went through extensive testing and several new prototypes were built.
Von Koenigsegg got the idea to build his own car after watching the Norwegian puppet movie Pinchcliffe Grand Prix in his youth. However, he took his first steps in the world of business in his early 20s running a trading company called Alpraaz in Stockholm, Sweden. The success of this venture gave von Koenigsegg the necessary financial standing to launch his chosen career as a car manufacturer.
A Koenigsegg CC prototype was first publicised in 1997, while the production prototype was finally unveiled at the 2000 Paris Motor Show. The first customer took delivery of a red CC 8S in 2002 at the Geneva Auto Show and four more cars were built that year. Koenigsegg was established in Asia later that year with a premiere at the Seoul Auto Show. In 2004, the new CCR was unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show.
On February 22, 2003, one of Koenigsegg's production facilities caught fire and burned to the ground. The fire was extinguished with help from 40 firefighters from different fire departments (Ängelholm, Hjärnarp, Strövelstorp, Bjuv and Helsingborg), villagers from Margretetorp, and passers-by. About 15 Koenigsegg cars, body parts, machines and engines were saved before the fire got out of control. The cause of the fire was determined to be a short-circuit in the company kitchen dishwasher, which then spread to the roof, which was insulated with hay. On the same day, the Koenigsegg cars took refuge at the nearby former Swedish Airforce Base F10, near the town of Ängelholm, which lies in the southwestern-most part of Sweden. After a few days, the decision was made by von Koenigsegg that they would stay within the former wing to rise from the ashes.
The Koenigsegg badge was designed in 1993 by Jacob Låftman, based on the shield of the Koenigsegg family. The shield has been the family's coat of arms since the 12th century when a family member was knighted by the German-based Holy Roman Empire.
On 28 February 2005, at 12:08 hrs local time, in Nardò, Italy, the CCR broke the record for the fastest production car in the world, having attained 388.87 km/h (242.91 mph), breaking the record previously held by the McLaren F1. The record was held until September 2005 when the long awaited Bugatti Veyron broke the record again at 407.5 km/h (253 mph), proven by Car and Driver and BBC Top Gear. However, Bugatti's record was set on Volkswagen's own test-track Ehra-Lessien, which features a 9 km (5.6 mi) long straight. Since the Nardò Ring is a circular 12.5 km (just under 7.8 miles) long track, the records are not comparable until Bugatti tests the Veyron on Nardò or allows Koenigsegg to test on Ehra-Lessien. Then on September 13, 2007 the record was taken by the SSC (Shelby Super Cars) Ultimate Aero achieving 256.15 Mph (412.233 km/h)
May 2003, on the San Francisco to Miami Gumball 3000 Rally, the first CCR in the United States received the biggest speeding ticket in the world; 242 mph in a 75 mph zone somewhere in west Texas.